The Emergency Fund Puzzle

We all know we need one.

How many times has an emergency fund saved you from digging into your wallet for that credit card?

Given our unsettling career position right now we are focusing on building a 'loosing your job sucks, but I'm going to be prepared for it' emergency fund. Will that fit in an ING description?

I can't describe how much this blows. The sailor and I had plans of disbursing our cash in all different directions. Almost like throwing it into the wind, except for not as stupid. Roth's, 529's, home repairs/remodels, vacation plans and other whims are all put on hold while we focus on this one thing. I thought we didn't have to follow the expert advice of building the emergency fund first and then work on the rest.  I suppose the experts know what they are talking about.

So, here come the puzzles. How much and how liquid?

What is enough?
Our plan from the beginning was to do a nine month emergency fund. Six months just doesn't sound like enough and one year sounded like too much. This nine month porridge fund sounds just about right. 
 
Since we have a budget in place and have been tracking our spending we really have a good feel to what our month expenses are. Multiply that by nine. Ta-da! Emergency fund calculations. That's the easy part. The hard and depressing part was realizing we only have about 6% of our goal in emergency savings. Wah-wah!

How accessible should it be?
There are different schools of thought on where you should or can keep your emergency fund. Our situation is a bit different since we know this to be real possibility and not just something sprung upon is. For now we will keep it in a Money Market Savings Account. I like the idea of being able to access it easily.

I know this is going to take time to build. If everything doesn't work out we will have about 6 or 7 more months of employment. This is going to be crunch time for us. I will be applying my I'm-serious-about-getting-out-of-debt attitude to this cause. I think I feel some challenges coming on.

p.s. Thank you to everyone for your well wishes and thoughts. I really do appreciate it and you helped make me feel better, for sure.